Aug 13 2008

Insure Vs. Ensure (OR: Fox News has betrayed me!)

Published by at 3:08 am under Commonly Misused Words,Writing Articles

You should only use the word “insure” if you’re talking about buying or selling insurance policies. The word “ensure” should be used when you want to guarantee an outcome. For example, “please ensure that you don’t make that mistake.” Unfortunately, Fox News hasn’t gotten the memo…

Fox News: “We expect Russia to insure that all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, airports, roads and airspace, remain open for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit,” Bush said.

No, Fox, no! You will rot in the deepest, hottest bowels of grammatical hell. Devils will stab you with semi-colons until you beg for death’s sweet embrace.

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “Insure Vs. Ensure (OR: Fox News has betrayed me!)”

  1. Jacobon 13 Aug 2008 at 9:23 am

    It’s possible that Fox News was accurately reporting a grammatical mistake by GWB.

  2. B. Macon 13 Aug 2008 at 9:27 am

    Screw that! If I reported every grammatical mistake a lecturer delivered in front of me, I wouldn’t have time for humiliating traps and devastating follow-ups.

    [Jacob: I’ve read some of your newspaper articles. They don’t seem very heavy on questions, either humiliating or otherwise.]

    You know what, Jacob? There’s more than enough space in grammar hell for another semi-colon stabbing victim.

  3. t3knomanseron 13 Aug 2008 at 11:57 am

    That’s one of my pet peeves. The other is fallacy abuse.

    People use it in place of “false” to sound smart. “X is not really better than Y. That’s a common fallacy.”

    No, it isn’t. A fallacy is a failure to properly apply deductive logic or sound reasoning. Ad hominum (“How could you listen to him, he’s a commie!”) is a fallacy. Something like this:
    All men are monkeys.
    Bobo is a monkey.
    Ergo, Bobo is a man.

    That’s a fallacy. Things that are false (or that you just plain disagree with, regardless of veracity) are not fallacies. They’re just false. Fallacies take trusted premises and return invalid conclusions.

  4. Jacobon 15 Aug 2008 at 1:14 am

    Relatedly, I find it bothersome when anyone conflates incorrectness with dishonesty, particularly in politics.

  5. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 21 Oct 2008 at 10:26 pm

    Ugh! They should know better than that! I could do a better job!

  6. B. Macon 21 Oct 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I was rejected for one of their summer internships… because they were weeding out grammarians! Then again, I was also rejected for The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Review, The Nation, Mother Jones and Weekly Standard. On the plus side, it appears that I was able to convince publications of every political ideology to agree on something.

  7. The ReTARDISed Whovianon 21 Oct 2008 at 11:45 pm

    Some papers and magazines are in desperate need of grammarians. Seriously, some of the things I’ve read make me want to scratch out my own eyes.

  8. B. Macon 22 Oct 2008 at 2:40 am

    US Today and Time especially.

  9. JackiePetrellion 27 Oct 2009 at 10:10 pm

    Hah! I love this.

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